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In Success Magazine’s Spring 2019 issue they had a large several-page spread with one liners on how to improve areas of your life in 2019. One paragraph stood out to me. It went as follows:
Don’t insert a complaint about someone when changing subjects will suffice. Apologize for things hanging over your conscience, but don’t over-apologize when you’ve done nothing wrong. Forgive people even when you know an apology isn’t coming your way. Forgive yourself.
This simple paragraph out of all the writer had spewed out was exactly what I have been focusing this season of my life around and it’s a source of my largest stress as well as what I am most proud of.
I believe they wrote this down in a certain order because it’s often the way we need to process through these mentally. Let me break it down…
Don’t insert a complaint about someone when changing subjects will suffice.
We all have the friends and ‘group’ that you can rant to, uncensored, and it’s okay. But be careful who you tell what to. I have had several friends or confidants who I believed were on ‘my side’ but the same toxic things they would spew about their other ‘best friends’ shows you exactly how they will speak to others about you.
Even after removing the toxicity they are free to spread whatever they want around. It is about how you react to it that shows your character. It frustrates me to see them doing this same vicious cycles to others but who am I to tell others what they can and can’t do? If you’re someone who believes you are a good person then let your actions reveal that. Trust that people have the ability to decide what is and is not true. Trust that even if they’re in bad company they will soon figure that out the same way you did. Adding more trash doesn’t clean up a pile of trash…it just makes for one messy area no one wants to go near.
Don’t give in to the urge to reveal the truth. (I KNOW it is tempting but you will find it will reveal itself.) The minute you talk poorly of someone you become known as the person who talks poorly of others. You can say what you mean without saying it mean. It’s that simple. Wish them well. Bless their heart. Spread love where you can. And just change the subject. You will feel much better avoiding that guilt hangover.
Apologize for things hanging over your conscience, but don’t over-apologize when you’ve done nothing wrong.
I remember every time I have extended a white flag and it was not returned. Not that I necessarily expected one (there must have been something off that caused the conflict in the first place) but it would have been nice! It’s like telling someone they’re beautiful and they respond with ‘I Know.’
See some of those stories below. Don’t worry, they’re comin’.
It’s not all just boyfriends and girlfriends but also in professional relationships. There is nothing that drives me more crazy than when people say ‘I’m sorry.’ in situations that do NOT require those words!
I worked with a person primarily over a conference line. She would never say the first word, she would never take the lead and she often only took action when guided how to. Nothing wrong with that at all. She did great work.
But every single time, often more than once a conversation I would hear her say Sorry for an accidental interruption, project missed, wrong title read, etc. It loses all sense of the word when it’s part of your regular vocabulary!
I am all for owning your mistakes and truly meaning you feel empathy for something. But do NOT go through this world apologizing for being here and assume every misstep you take is a bad one. NO. You’re better, smarter, tougher, stronger and too good for that.
I’ve known several people who are serial offenders to repeatedly adding condolences in their everyday sentences. I started asking ‘What are you apologizing for?’ They would mumble out some line about how they weren’t sure it just felt like they should say it. Break the habit!
Forgive people even when you know an apology isn’t coming your way.
Ah, offering forgiveness. It’s like volunteering and internally expecting something in return.
I remember when I was younger and going through a break-up there was always the conversation to bring ‘closure’ aka not a thing. Days, months, years later I would cross paths again and apologize for my wrong doings. Not because I thought profuse I’m Sorry’s would reconcile anything but truly recognizing where I fell short, what I learned from that and what made me better for the next relationship I would be in.
Alexa, start playing God Bless The Broken Road by Rascal Flatts…
Do not feel the urge to apologize when you feel you have done nothing wrong. I’m going to make this realllll big so you don’t miss it.
When a person tells you that you hurt them you didn’t get to decide that they didn’t.
I eventually told most everyone who hurt me in some way, shape or form what they did. We may have both been at the same place, same time doing the same thing but our memories of the event could be very different. If you felt humiliated, unsafe, hurt or let down they do not hold any kind of special power to say ‘No, you didn’t’ or ‘I didn’t do that.’ Believe wholeheartedly that it is better to agree to disagree and walk away than it is to convince them they fell short.
One response I got was fantastic. They said they were also sorry for not recognizing the major support I needed in a very difficult time and we were both grateful it happened and move forward. We are friends and it’s not weird. A large gap of time and space did help that (most annoying thing to hear, my bad) but it truly does. It can happen. If it doesn’t, that’s okay, too.
Another response, the big one, I apologized for my wrong-doings…and was met with Thanks for saying that. And trust me they had a lottttt, a lot they could have apologized for. Now there is a long, long story attached to that I won’t get in to but the main point stands out. Had I stayed with that person I would more than likely still be where they are (physically and mentally). It’s no wonder that was a leading reason I left the relationship. If you ever get the chance to experience something like that, it will be the most clarifying moment. Just like you couldn’t fix someone back then there is nothing you can do now.
Apologizing to those does not show defeat at all. It shows maturity. It shows growth. I would much rather leave telling someone ‘I’m for all I did wrong. Thank you for everything.’ than something cruel I said in a moment of anger.
I’m not much of a person to #selfcare #selftalk #forgiveyourself but #hereIam. Mostly because it was in the previous excerpt so I will give this my best shot. This is usually something I only speak about with close friends because, damn, is it hard.
I considered myself to be an extroverted, confident teenager. I liked being liked. I liked being everywhere with everyone at every event. The last place I wanted to be was sitting at home in what was, at the time, a place I felt extremely uninvited to. I much preferred to be out where things were lighthearted, where I had people who also wanted to be around me, where I could ‘make memories’ and be apart of everything.
Because of this outward image I was putting on it came as a big shock to those I opened up to what was going on at home, in my mind and in my personal life. Some people believe me; some of my closest friends still don’t. Some believe you can’t be two people at the same time.
You can’t be a party girl and also be someone who went through something invasive and demoralizing.
You can’t have amazing parents who love and support you and also physically, verbally fight with them, get kicked out and told you’re stupid or in need of a workout.
You can’t be the captain, the homecoming queen, hold a crowned title, several leadership positions and also see how many pills you can take to get away from the issues.
But you can. People go through things like this every single day.
You’re bound to screw up. It will happen. It’s important to have someone, at least one person who you trust that can help carry that burden with you.
There are things only my friends know. There are things myself and those who were there with me know. There are things only my husband knows. And there are things that are only between myself and God that not a single other person will ever know.
I am okay with that.
I have only been to two counseling sessions in my life. One I was tricked and forced to go to (which scarred me you could say) and one I chose to go to when I had a panic attack/actual breakdown in college. Neither one personally allowed me to open up but I encourage you to find someone you can trust, a licensed stranger if it helps, and let it out. You’re not alone and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
I still have moments where a bad or annoying memory will pop up and in the deep pit of my stomach right under my ribs this anxious feeling creeps in. It’s all consuming. I recognize that and I let it pass; knowing it will come back sometime. Someday.
I was self-conscious about a lot of things in my life and several of those still exist. I am proud of who I am and what I have done.
I forgive others for thinking they get to say who I was or am. I forgive those who took their own personal vengeances out on my wedding day. Including someone close to me who has never publicly said one positive thing about me and instead pointed out everyone in the room except for me. For saying the only good thing I ever did was marry my husband and not screwing it up. I forgive them because they were blind to anything that was every actually going on.
No. Marrying him was the greatest experience of my life but I have definitely done many, many more good things. Being his wife is the favorite thing I have ever been but I am much more than that. I forgive myself for thinking anything less was ever true.
I forgive myself for every time I treated my body less than. For thinking I wasn’t worth something special. For going through phases of not eating, not eating enough, or eating junk. For harming myself, picking, pulling, prodding, treating, comparing. I forgive myself for ever letting words from teasing or bullying hurt me.
I forgive myself for thinking things happen to everyone. I forgive myself for being too ashamed to tell anyone. I forgive myself for feeling the shame of not stopping it from happening to someone else. I forgive myself right now for putting this out there in the world after being engraved in my mind and scribbled on paper for years.
I forgive myself for every time I thought I had to compensate for being something someone else wanted me to be. I forgive others who didn’t reach out, see the problems, or be the leader and mentor I needed them to be. I held on. I figured it out. I know what to look for and what to ask and when to ask it. I can take the shortcoming’s that adults gave me and use that for something much, much better now. I will break the cycle of what I have experienced.
Even if I never received a much-deserved apology, the justice that should have been served or the outcome I was too afraid of pursuing…I forgive myself. At 25-years-old I understand I no longer need public validation like I once thought I did. Just because you publish a post or a photo and no more than 10 people like it does not mean you aren’t beautiful or have nothing important to say. Not every person needs to see something to make it true or untrue. Not every person needs to believe or support everything I do or say. If I feel it is true, it is true. Wherever that is, Let It Be.
I forgive myself for thinking terrible, awful things are happening in my body because of some twisted karma from an event that happened in 2009 or 2011 or last week. God loves me and he wants everything that I want. He’s just better at knowing what I need.
Forgive someone today. Don’t over apologize. Don’t insert a complaint when you could just change the subject. Forgive yourself.